The Pride Of Power
An ancient Indian scripture says that “the guest is equivalent to God”. Russian President Vladimir Putin may not believe in this culture, intentionally or unintentionally. However, he got trolled because of his shocking treatment to guests after the final of the 2018 FIFA World Cup on July 15.
During the prize distribution ceremony at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, President Putin shared the podium with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and FIFA President Gianni Infantino. It astonished the world to find a leader of Putin’s stature was sheltering his head under an umbrella, while his guests were getting drenched in the rain. The incident turned into a massive joke on social media almost immediately, with many saying that “Putin forgot how to be a gentleman!”
What happened on Sunday night?
France just defeated Croatia 4-2 in the final of the FIFA World Cup. It began to rain soon after the three leaders reached the podium to handover the medals to Croatian and French players. Infantino and other top FIFA officials were also present there on the podium. All of a sudden, a Russian official offered an umbrella to Putin. However, the torrential downpour soaked not only the spectators, officials and the players, but also the French and Croatian presidents.
Is it a fault of the Organising Committee?
Ahead of the World Cup, the ISIS had threatened that President Putin would have to ‘pay the price for killing Muslims’. However, the mega event ended peacefully and the Putin administration deserves to be praised. However, (it seems that) the Organising Committee was not fully prepared for rain and let (Putin’s) umbrella to steal the show on the final night. The mismanagement of the prize distribution ceremony allowed the Twitterati to raise a vital question: “Do they have only one umbrella in Russia?”
Critics are of the opinion that the phrase “ladies first” appeared to be lost during the presentation party. That’s why President Putin was covered with an umbrella before the Croatian president. According to critics, there is no word – called ‘courtesy‘ – in the Russian president’s dictionary. Or else, he would have offered the umbrella to President Grabar-Kitarovic and President Macron.
President Putin – popularly known as a strongman – is often photographed shirtless. On Sunday, he once again let the world know he’s the boss, although the podium wasn’t the ideal place for him to show his strength. The opposition parties in Russia have rightly described the incident as ‘the pride of power’.
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